Printer Friendly

Morgan defends his 'as-you-were' cabinet.

Byline: By Phillip Nifield South Wales Echo

First Minister Rhodri Morgan today defended his cabinet shake-up that has seen no new faces and no ministers outside of South Wales brought into the Assembly Government.

Mr Morgan, pictured inset, also cut the number of cabinet members from nine to seven but said he was giving his ministers completely new roles as he attempts to reach out to "progressive consensus" in the Assembly.

The move opens the way for a fresh look to be taken at difficult issues, such as hospital changes, because the ministers originally involved in key decisions have been moved.

Carwyn Jones, considered by many to be the front-runner to succeed Mr Morgan as Labour leader, has been given the high-profile education portfolio, while the person he succeeds, Jane Davidson, described by Mr Morgan as his "greenest minister" tackles the growing issues of climate change and sustainable development.

Biggest surprise was the move of former Health Minister Brian Gibbons to cover the economic development and transport role previously held by Andrew Davies.

Mr Morgan said: "I have reduced the size of the cabinet to seven from nine but that's nothing new. The SNP leader Alex Salmond cut his cabinet to six. The changes represent a major refresh of virtually every portfolio and they will bring a new impetus and energy to driving forward our policy in co-operation with others. We are committed to greater inter-party co-operation."

This could see issues like affordable housing tackled very early on this term.

But the announcement drew the expected broadside from opposition parties and sources maintained Mr Morgan's party was living on borrowed time and could be replaced by a rainbow coalition as early as next month.

Welsh Conservatives Assembly leader Nick Bourne said: "This has all the hallmarks of the same old Labour pantomime with the same old cast, and the same old lines. This is the cabinet of Labour's Glamorgan Mafia. There is no-one west of Swansea, east of Cardiff or north of Pontypridd."

Plaid Deputy Assembly Leader Rhodri Glyn Thomas said: "Rhodri Morgan's latest cabinet has no change of personnel and therefore there has to be a change of policy and a new sense of urgency if this government is going to make a real difference to lives across Wales."

Mike German, Assembly Welsh Liberal Democrats leader, added: "Perhaps Rhodri has been conscious that the cabinet's work is likely to be time limited." What rhodri's team will be doing: Details of the new Cabinet and their roles are:

First Minister: Rhodri Morgan (Cardiff West)

Responsibilities: Strategy; science; Europe and Wales in the world.

Minister for Health and Social Services: Edwina Hart (Gower)

Responsibilities: NHS, public health and social services.

Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services with special responsibility for Social Services: Gwenda Thomas (Neath).

Minister for Education, Culture and the Welsh Language: Carwyn Jones (Bridgend)

Responsibilities: Children and early years; schools; 14-19-year-olds; skills; further and higher education, Welsh language, sport and the arts.

Minister for the Economy and Transport: Dr Brian Gibbons (Aberavon)

Responsibilities: Economic development; transport and regeneration.Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport with special responsibility for regeneration: Huw Lewis (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney)Deputy Minister for Education, Culture and Welsh Language with special responsibility for skills: John Griffiths (Newport East). Minister for Sustainability and Rural Development: Jane Davidson (Pontypridd).Responsibilities: Climate change, sustainable development, environment, agriculture, energy and planning.Minister for Social Justice and Public Service Delivery: Andrew Davies (Swansea West).Responsibilities: Child poverty, housing, public service delivery, local government, the spatial plan and community safety.Deputy Minister for Social Justice and Public Service Delivery with special responsibility for housing: Leighton Andrews (Rhondda). Minister for Budget and Business: Jane Hutt (Vale of Glamorgan)Responsibilities: Budget, financial planning and control, Assembly business management including legislation.Outside the Cabinet is Carl Sargent (Alyn and Deeside) as chief whip and deputy Business Minister. transport and regeneration.

Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport with special responsibility for regeneration: Huw Lewis (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney)

Deputy Minister for Education, Culture and Welsh Language with special responsibility for skills: John Griffiths (Newport East).

Minister for Sustainability and Rural Development: Jane Davidson (Pontypridd).

Responsibilities: Climate change, sustainable development, environment, agriculture, energy and planning.

Minister for Social Justice and Public Service Delivery: Andrew Davies (Swansea West).

Responsibilities: Child poverty, housing, public service delivery, local government, the spatial plan and community safety.

Deputy Minister for Social Justice and Public Service Delivery with special responsibility for housing: Leighton Andrews (Rhondda).

Minister for Budget and Business: Jane Hutt (Vale of Glamorgan)

Responsibilities: Budget, financial planning and control, Assembly business management including legislation.

Outside the Cabinet is Carl Sargent (Alyn and Deeside) as chief whip and deputy Business Minister.
COPYRIGHT 2007 MGN Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 Reader Opinion

Title:

Comment:



 

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 1, 2007
Words:779
Previous Article:Boxer Joe gives a knockout show for his adoring fans.
Next Article:The icing on the cake.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters